Finance

Senate vote on Dodd-Frank rollback pushed to next week

Greg Nash

The Senate has pushed a final vote on legislation weakening the Dodd-Frank financial reform law until next week after failing to reach a deal on amendment votes.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that Republicans and Democrats were unable to agree on which of the more than 100 amendments to the bill would get votes. The Senate will vote on a series of amendments “early next week,” the spokesman said.

The underlying measure is expected to pass with bipartisan support despite opposition from liberal Democrats, and the battle over amendments isn’t likely to change the final outcome.

{mosads}Democratic critics of the bill have submitted more than 80 amendments that would limit the number and type of banks that would be helped by the bill, stripping out portions they say could cause another financial crisis and adding what they describe as safeguards.

The Senate must also consider a substitute amendment offered by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) that would expand the bill’s scope.

The replacement language adds several consumer protections sought by Democrats while easing securities laws to woo House Republicans. The additions included several House bills meant to expand financing options for entrepreneurs, along with measures to protect military veterans from fraud and create new student loan backstops and mandate studies on various risks to the financial system.

It also clarifies some of the most controversial parts of the bill that Democrats argue could open the door to laxer rules for the biggest banks.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) told reporters Thursday that the manager’s amendment didn’t include enough input from the lower chamber to win him over, however. He’s pushing for the Senate to include roughly 30 bills from his panel that earned bipartisan support.

“We expect them to be in any bill that goes to the president’s desk,” Hensarling said, insisting the Senate bill didn’t reflect the will of the House.

Crapo’s substitute amendment includes eight uncontroversial bills from the Financial Services Committee, most of which seek to help business owners raise capital by easing securities laws.

But Hensarling and House conservatives want more input on the Senate bill. The committee circulated a list of 29 bills with bipartisan support that Hensarling wants considered in a compromise package.

“This is a list of bills intended to illustrate the hard work of the House on a bipartisan basis,” said Sarah Flaim, a Hensarling spokeswoman. “We’re not making demands on the Senate bill. The Senate has put forth their bill. The House has its bills. It is our expectation that those bills be reconciled through conference — be it formal or informal.”

The coalition of Republicans and Democrats backing the Senate bill have expressed worries about the additional changes demanded by Hensarling.

“There will be tremendous pressure on the House to not sink any kind of compromise,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), a co-sponsor of the Senate bill, on Tuesday.

“This is a moment in time, and I think House leadership understands that.”

Updated at 6:58 p.m. with a new statement from a Hensarling spokeswoman.

Tags Dodd-Frank Act dodd-frank reform Heidi Heitkamp Jeb Hensarling Jeb Hensarling Mike Crapo Mitch McConnell Senate United States House Committee on Financial Services
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